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Quality of online otolaryngology health information

  • T C Biggs (a1), N Jayakody (a2), K Best (a3) and E V King (a1)

Abstract

Objective

Up to 70 per cent of the population search online for medical or health-related information. This study aimed to assess the quality of online health resources available to educate patients on a variety of otolaryngological conditions.

Methods

Two clinicians independently analysed the quality and content of educational websites (patient.co.uk and wikipedia.org) for common and uncommon diagnoses, with cancerresearchuk.org also used to assess two head and neck cancers.

Results

Cancerresearchuk.org, followed by patient.co.uk, scored most highly in their ability to inform readers on a selection of otolaryngological conditions. Although wikipedia.org was less likely to include all relevant information and was more difficult to read, it still provided mostly accurate information.

Conclusion

Where possible, patients should be advised to access professionally maintained health information websites (patient.co.uk and cancerresearchuk.org). However, wikipedia.org can provide adequate information, although it lacks depth and can be difficult to understand.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Mr Timothy Biggs, Department of ENT Surgery, Poole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Poole BH15 2JB, UK E-mail: t.biggs@soton.ac.uk

Footnotes

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Mr T Biggs takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper

Footnotes

References

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Keywords

Quality of online otolaryngology health information

  • T C Biggs (a1), N Jayakody (a2), K Best (a3) and E V King (a1)

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